Sunday, 12 June 2011

Two poems for a rainy day

I had planned to light the fire and watch a Jane Austen dvd ( I still want to say 'video') but the urchins, on leaving for their Father's have turned the telly over to its PlayStation mode, which means I can't make the darn thing work!
I can't settle to reading, so I have returned to one of my favourite past-times, following a thread of an idea through my books of poetry.
 A remembered phrase from Thomas Hardy

' The stirless depths of the yews
  Are vague with misty blues'

turned out to be from a poem about winter, not rain.

The line from W.B Yeats 'The Lake at Innsifree' feels right for this quiet afternoon-

' And peace comes dropping slow'

 Now, finally, I have found two poems that have suited my search today. I had a feeling that my favourite Edward Thomas had written a poem about rain that I'd liked and (at the risk of sounding very UN-poetical) it's like scratching an itch to have found it!

Before I copy these two, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't mention a poem that came immediately to my mind when thinking about this damp subject. It's called

'Night Rain after Summer Drought'

and contains such phrases as

' Shivering trees whisper, in lisping patters'
' I return to my cocoon of civilisation
where Natures Forces
are no longer law!'

Yes.... it is a much loved but truly dreadful poem I wrote when I was about sixteen....

But moving swiftly on

It Rains- Edward Thomas

It rains, and nothing stirs within the fence
Anywhere through the orchard's untrodden, dense
Forest of parsley. The great diamonds
Of rain on the grassblades there is none to break,
Or the fallen petals further down to shake.

And I am nearly as happy as possible
To search through the wilderness in vain though well,
To think of two walking, kissing there,
Drenched, yet forgetting the kisses of the rain:
Sad, to, to think that never, never again,

Unless alone, so happy shall I walk
In the rain. When I turn away, on its fine stalk
Twilight has fined to naught, the parsley flower
Figures, suspended still and ghostly white,
The past hovering as it revisits the light

Happiness A.A. Milne

 John Had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh --
And that
(Said John)

I've spent a very happy hour.....


  1. A rainy day! We envy you as we irrigate.

  2. Hello Jane:
    The first thing that came to mind connecting wet weather and poetry was Edith Sitwell's 'And Still Falls the Rain'. But, of course, as you will know, this is really not about the inclemency of the weather but concerns itself with the air raids on London during the last war.

    Here in Budapest we have had wonderful sunshine all day - almost too hot!

  3. Hello Jane,
    Lovely words here to brighten this very damp day...

    It was such a tonic to meet you on Saturday - what a lovely lady you are and thank you for taking the time to call in at my shop. I wish we could have talked more, but, as is, you made me feel great. Thank you! x

    I think we need to hear the rest of your lovely poem sometime...if this was what you came up with at just 16, I can't imagine what you are capable of now!

    My warmest wishes to you,
    Niki :)

  4. Hello Jane
    Your post has reminded me to read my grandmothers poems. They are kept in a draw and I very rarely look at them.
    I complain to my son about spending too much time at the computer. Of course, I am now spending my spare time doing exactly the same. Reading blogs has replaced reading books!
    I am glad you enjoyed a happy hour on this rainy day.
    Thank you for your kind comments on my post, as always, it is very much appreciated.

  5. Hi Jane
    I, too, would like to hear more of your poetry.
    I love WB Yeats poetry - he is my favourite.
    You have had a productive afternoon. Wishing you a pleasant week

  6. Hello All,
    My apologies for this late and speedy reply. Yesterday I had a crashed computer (my daughter's- tears and lamentations)a flat tyre (me- curses)and numerous unbelivably long phone calls of the " choose option 4" kind! All is now sorted but I'm so behind with everything.
    Thank you for all your comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the poems and understood the pleasure I had in finding them.
    I found and re-read Edith Sitwell's poem, it's very powerful with such a heavy, almost drum like rhythm, thank you Jane and Lance.
    You are all very kind about my youthful verse. I do WISH I could be a good poet but unfortunatley I have studied enough to know I'm not...
    Just to finish with a quick note to Niki to say how glad I am that I plucked up the couirage to introduce myself. You and your shop are brilliant and I am so pleased with my bowl and the wonderful wooden chest.
    Right, I better get back to the grindstone and promise to reply to you all individually next time. It's much nicer to have a proper chat.
    Jane x

  7. Oh help, my spelling's gone haywire today....

  8. Dear Jane, forgive us we've been out of the loop, but enjoying your posts, and the Milne poem is very sweet. Sorry about your nefarious blackbirds - in California we have Stellar Jays, which are large bluebirds that are quite vicious... :)

  9. I am so pleased I have found your blog. Another lover of Edward Thomas here! Last month I walked in the Hangers above Steep, where he lived and wrote. Such a beautiful wooded place, where you could almost imagine him stepping out of the trees, his pipe and his notebook in his hand.

  10. I am pleased you found me and read and liked my piece and how good to find another lover of Edward Thomas, my very favourite poet! I have never been to Steep but have promised myself a visit there one fine day....Best wishes, Jane

  11. A quick hello to 'Goose Vintage', lovely to hear from you! Jane x